December 19, 2011
The three Goldberg brothers, Norman, Hyman, and Maximillian invented and developed the first automobile air-conditioner.
On July 17th, 1946, the temperature in Detroit was 97º.
The 3 brothers walked into old man Henry Ford's office and sweet-talked his secretary into telling him that 3 gentlemen were there with the most exciting innovation in the auto industry since the electric starter.
Henry was curious and invited them into his office. They refused and instead asked that he come out to the parking lot to their car.
They persuaded him to get into the car which was about 130º - turned on the air-conditioner and cooled the car off immediately.
The old man got very excited and invited them back to the office, where he offered them 3 million dollars for the patent.
The brothers refused saying they would settle for 2 million but they wanted the recognition by having a label "The Goldberg Air-Conditioner" on the dashboard of each car that it was installed in.
Now old man Ford was more than just a little bit anti-Semitic, and there was no way he was going to put the Goldbergs' name on 2 million Ford cars.
They haggled back and forth for about 2 hours and finally agreed on 4 million dollars and that just their first names would be shown.
And so, even today, all Ford air-conditioners show on the controls the names "Norm", "Hi", and "Max".
(from the "Chabad of Oceanside" website. This is one version of a popular joke).